ReviewStage

'Kinky Boots' Hits the Road

Tessa Roy ’16/ Emertainment Monthly Music Editor

Kyle Taylor Parker in the Kinky Boots National Tour. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy/ Kinky Boots Tour
Kyle Taylor Parker in the Kinky Boots National Tour. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy/ Kinky Boots Tour

Calling all “ladies, gentlemen, and those who have yet to make up their mind:” Kinky Boots is in town! The Tony award-winning, Cyndi Lauper score-penned musical is kicking up its heels at the Boston Opera house for another week and you won’t want to miss it.

Kinky, based on a true story, follows down-on-his-luck shoe factory owner Charlie Price. Just when he’s about to lose the factory that is a trademark part of his family’s history, he bumps into cabaret star Lola. The two team up to revamp the business in hopes of saving it, causing plenty of hilarity, but also seriousness, to ensue.

The cast of Kinky is phenomenal, making the show that much more lovable. Steven Booth captures Charlie’s floundering antics with ease, wandering about the stage with the character’s constant confusion and desperation. Booth’s Charlie is kept grounded by Lindsay Nicole Chambers’ Lauren, a bubbly blonde Price and Son worker. Chambers plays a giddily lovestruck but smart Lauren, winning hearts with her expressive performance of The History of Wrong Guys. And of course, no one will ever forget Kyle Taylor Parker, who kills it as the first Lola since Billy Porter. He embodies every bit of her sass and spunk, but when necessary (such as in the scenes where the audience learns about Lola’s past) Parker can also pull on the heartstrings. His passionate delivery of Hold Me in Your Heart proved to be the most meaningful performance of the musical.  

Kyle Taylor Parker and Steven Booth in Kinky Boots National Tour. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy/Kinky Boots Tour
Kyle Taylor Parker and Steven Booth in Kinky Boots National Tour. Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy/Kinky Boots Tour

Upon first glance at any promo poster or marquee, Kinky looks like a ton of fierceness, glitter, wigs, and sex tossed about a stage. In some ways, that’s exactly what it is. The musical is endlessly quotable and full of snappy one-liners, most of which come from flamboyant heroine Lola. Such sass is accompanied by a synthy soundtrack that includes the tracks Sex is in the Heel, Everybody Say Yeah, Land of Lola, and Raise You Up, all of which are totally dance worthy. And of course, no one can forget the boots – the audience audibly fawned over each pair of colorful, shining thigh-highs that rolled their way down Charlie’s conveyor belt. Those boots were works of art in themselves, and there’s little doubt many in the audience were wishing they had their own pair by the time they left.

However, there is much more to Kinky than a superficial sparkle. Traditional ideas of masculinity and sexual orientation are challenged, giving the musical a cutting edge on social issues. Kinky, having its finger on a number of today’s hot button topics regarding the LGBTQIA+ community, is a mirror into what passions the current generation is holding dear. But it makes it clear that these passions are not just a trend with a bandwagon that will roll away in due time;  it stands as a lasting reminder that being oneself, and subsequently accepting others who dare to do the same, is something humankind will always need to do.

Kinky Boots will be residing at the Boston Opera House until August 30th. For tickets for the U.S. tour, Broadway, and other residencies by clicking here.

Tags

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close